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  1. #1
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    My first wheel build...a couple of questions

    Ok so I decided to give wheel building a shot. Need a set of wheels for my new IRO BFSSFG bike so with the hubs from the Miche group buy (Miche pista high flange) and pair of Niobium 30 rims I set off on my mission. Spokes are 14/15/14 double butted...nipples are brass...no spoke prep just oil. 32 spoke 3 cross.

    So I started with the front and I am stopped with it right now. Currently I am perfectly dished, nearly perfectly true (as good as it is going to get) and equally nearly perfectly round. I am pretty proud of all that...but then I check the tensions and they are less than even. I know a perfect wheel would have even tensions but Troy Watson (Ligero wheels) made the comment to me that with these light rims they are not always round and so you will have uneven tension due to the pulling in of the high spots.

    Have others found that to be the case with this or other light rims? And if so how uneven of tension is ok?

    Next question has to do with bumps by the spoke holes in the rims. By say 5 or 6 of 32 nipples there is a bump...looks like the head of the nipple deforming the rim...like it wants to pull through (no cracks or anything just a deformation). I checked and these spokes aren't even to the tension Troy said to use on these rims...I am still a bit low in 95% of the spokes (maybe 1 or 2 is near the tension he suggested, 100-110 kgf). Should I be concerned?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Ive built many wheels without a tensiometer. Actually, every wheel ive ever built has been w/o one. If the rims are true (not bent) the tension should be nearly the same across the board, if all the spokes are the same length. I would just make sure that all the spokes have adequate tension, and get it true, and ride it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    You're not going to like what I have to say, so bear in mind I could be very wrong.

    1) Sometimes spokes of the same length really aren't. I always check a set of spokes for even length before I start lacing and sometimes I pull a few out. Only way to find out if that has to do with anything would be to disassemble and measure.

    2) The rim spoke hole bulges would concern me. I'd call the person who sold you the rims and ask about it. If there's a wheel builder at your LBS, check with him too. If everyone says it's OK, then mark the spokes and check them after every ride for a while for cracks. If you don't find any, you can reduce the frequency of the checks.

    I've built Mavic Open Pros which are lighter than those rims and haven't had spoke bulges, but they are double-eyeletted. The single-eyeletted Mavic MA-3s that I had, however, bulged and cracked.

    A few years ago when I was looking in to Niobium rims and started asking around, I got varying opinions on the potential durability of wheels built with them. I came away feeling that at 185 pounds, I'd rather pass. They were newer then so maybe people were extra cautious and I needn't be concerned.

    FWIW, I'm not a professional wheel builder, but I've built close to 20 wheels over past few years and none have had the problems you describe. Wait a bit and let others weigh in. Maybe they've got some better ideas.

  4. #4
    A little North of Hell
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    oddsandendos

    Bulges at the nipples, sounds like over-tension.

    Are you reading your tensiometer correctly?

    I would ask Mike about the maximum tension for those rims.

    Please contact us if you have any questions... Email Mike oddsandendos@hotmail.com
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  5. #5
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Well I am going to take it to my LBS today and see what they think.

    I am about 99% sure I am reading the tension meter correctly...it is a Park TM-1 and I can't really see how you could read it wrong really. And using the pluck the spoke method I have other wheels not built by me with higher tensions...I really don't think it is over tensioned.

    halfspeed - while this rim is just slightly heavier than the OP spec (in fact it may not be any heavier than the actuals) it is a 30mm rim so roughly the same weight is being spread out over a larger area and thus everything is thinner...or at least all the areas they could make thinner are thinner. With 32 spokes I was given the impression this wheel would be plenty durable.

    Thanks for the feedback guys.
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  6. #6
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    I've only ever built two sets of wheels. My most recent this weekend.

    So my experience is not vast. However, I've never had all the spokes at actually equal tensions. I don't use a tensionmeter, but some of the spokes end up a bit tighter with the wrench at the spoke nipple. It just seems to always work out that way, no matter how methodically I work. I then check by sound to make certain they're all at least close, and if I get a dull return from a couple I tighten them up and subsequently re-check the true.

    Those bulges definitely concern me. I have never seen that, but like a previous poster, I use Mavic rims that are eyeletted. Have someone who know a bit better look at those, because if the spokes are actually deforming the rim either the rim is no good, or your spokes are way too tight.
    Good night...and good luck

  7. #7
    A little North of Hell
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    conversion chart

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    I am about 99% sure I am reading the tension meter correctly...it is a Park TM-1 and I can't really see how you could read it wrong really.
    Did not know what kind of tensiometer you had.
    Converting the meter reading to (Kfg) or (Lbf) from the spoke chart is what I meant.
    You are using the 1.8mm column, correct?
    Last edited by Soil_Sampler; 07-29-07 at 07:25 AM.
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  8. #8
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soil_Sampler View Post
    Did not know what kind of tensiometer you had.
    Converting the meter reading to (Kfg) or (Lbf) from the spoke chart is what I meant.
    You are using the 1.8mm column, correct?
    Actually I am using the 1.7 column. The are Wheelsmith spokes and for whatever reason they actually run 2.0/1.7/2.0 rahter than 2.0/1.8/2.0.

    I just stopped by my LBS and they said they wouldn't ride the wheel. Then they gave me a bunch of **** for buying stuff off the internet..it's a crap rim...if you bought it from us would could just replace it for you...blah blah blah...I tried to explain to them that they can't get them through their normal channels and wheel builders much better than the ones they have say these rims are good.

    Looking at the rims and the buldges closer it looks like it ISN'T the nipple but rather higer up (just slightly)...and thinking back I think it is all my fauly...also my count is off there are 3 of them.

    Me thinks it is time to buy a new rim for the front.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member King of Kadence's Avatar
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    What was the reading on your park tool?

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    Looking at the rims and the buldges closer it looks like it ISN'T the nipple but rather higer up (just slightly)...and thinking back I think it is all my fauly...also my count is off there are 3 of them.
    Do tell! I'm sure we'd all like to learn from your mistake.

  11. #11
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Kadence View Post
    What was the reading on your park tool?
    On which spoke? Seriously they are all over the place between 15 and 19...I was shooting for 20-21 but never took it up there.

    halfspeed - no I don't think so...too stupid. Ok fine. Sheldon Brown made mention of using an electric screwdriver in his wheelbuilding tutorial...so I was and I think what happened was a couple of times the driver slipped off the heads of the nipples and jammed. My guess is that when that happened the bit wedged between the rim wall and the nipple and because it was still trying to turn it pushed the rim wall out a bit (they are like 1mm humps).
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  12. #12
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    No expert here, but with the 2 wheels I put together:
    * if the spokes on each side are of the correct length and if you start by screwing the nipples very carefully so that only the first thread is visible, you have a good starting point.
    * go through a couple of iterations of checking lateral true, roundness, then dish. Build it up slowly.
    * I use the tensiometer only when I have everything nice and true and no spokes seem loose. It is useful in telling me that a couple of spokes are still a little loose.
    * lastly, being a rookie, I made a commitment to myself that if it didn't work out the first time, I would take it all apart and do it again... which I have done once or twice. Lesson learned: be patient :-)
    Last edited by gerv; 07-29-07 at 01:57 PM.

  13. #13
    A little North of Hell
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    tension

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    Sheldon Brown made mention of using an electric screwdriver in his wheelbuilding tutorial...so I was and I think what happened was a couple of times the driver slipped off the heads of the nipples and jammed.
    Sounds like a couple of the spokes could have been over-tensioned with the electric screwdriver before you checked the tension.

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  14. #14
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Well update here. I talked with Troy as I was trying to order a new rim...his suggestion was that this rim was probably fine to ride and that the sidewalls dent very easily...he thinks my slipping screwdriver bit was for sure the cause. He hesitated to say it woul dbe fine and I understand he has to worry about the liability issue involved in saying that...but at the same time he wasn't ready to just take my money for another rim.

    Also he said that the tension being about where it is isn't at all uncommon...he thought I should bring it up a bit moreand give it a go. So that is what I am going to do...bring the tension up a bit more...keep the wheel dished, round and true and see what the tensions look like.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    Well I am going to take it to my LBS today and see what they think.

    I am about 99% sure I am reading the tension meter correctly...it is a Park TM-1 and I can't really see how you could read it wrong really.
    The TM-1 must be released on the the spoke slowly and smoothly. If you release it too quickly you'll get a bad reading due to elastic rebound.

    Al

  16. #16
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Ok so I finished it last night...I was able to get reasonably good tension with the wheel still true, round and in dish so I am pretty happy...mounted the tire up and...well it is sitting there waiting for me to now build the rear. LOL
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
    Actually I am using the 1.7 column. The are Wheelsmith spokes and for whatever reason they actually run 2.0/1.7/2.0 rahter than 2.0/1.8/2.0.

    I just stopped by my LBS and they said they wouldn't ride the wheel. Then they gave me a bunch of **** for buying stuff off the internet..it's a crap rim...if you bought it from us would could just replace it for you...blah blah blah...I tried to explain to them that they can't get them through their normal channels and wheel builders much better than the ones they have say these rims are good.

    Looking at the rims and the buldges closer it looks like it ISN'T the nipple but rather higer up (just slightly)...and thinking back I think it is all my fauly...also my count is off there are 3 of them.

    Me thinks it is time to buy a new rim for the front.

    There is no magic involved in wheelbuilding...Your LBS probably does have mechanics who can build wheels as well as the builders who are so often extolled on this forum. I would trust the LBS' opinion over that of a "legendary" wheelbuilder's telephone diagnosis.

  18. #18
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
    There is no magic involved in wheelbuilding...Your LBS probably does have mechanics who can build wheels as well as the builders who are so often extolled on this forum. I would trust the LBS' opinion over that of a "legendary" wheelbuilder's telephone diagnosis.
    You know I think you are right...there is no magic...yet some how my LBS can't build a wheel to save their collective asses. I have had them build 6 wheels for me now. Salsa DelgadoX laced to 105 hubs...go out of true all the time...woefully under tensioned from the shop. Mavic 717 laced to Cannondale Lefty hub....when I picked it up there were spokes with little to no tension and it wasn't true...huh? I ripped into the GM on that one something good...they brought the tension up and trued the wheel again...I bought the Lefty truing adapter so I could do it myself. Sun M19A-II laced to Campy hubs. 2 rears would never stay true...the front is now true after I retensioned the wheel. I have heard all sorts of stories from other riders in my area about bad builds from these guys. I don't know what the hell they are doing down there and IMO neither do they. I do NOT trust their input on wheels.

    Now conversely I bought a set of Mike Garcia's DT RR1.1/Speedcific wheels and they never saw a wrench in nearly 2k miles. I just got a wheel from Troy Watson that I hope is as good.
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